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First CSR Report

Monday, 27 March 2017 08:04

Dawn Meats has announced ambitious 2025 targets to reduce water and energy intensity by 40% and CO2 emission intensity by 50%. The commitments are contained in our first CSR report which also sets out the ambitious goal of becoming Europe’s most sustainable meat company.

Sustainability across the wider business has been prioritised since Dawn Meats published its first sustainability plan in 2009.  As one of the first verified members of Origin Green, Dawn Meats has had its sustainability credentials endorsed by many external agencies, and since 2012 annual progress under Origin Green has been independently assessed to the highest international standards.

Commenting on the 2016 CSR report, CEO Niall Browne said, “None of this would be possible without the commitment of our staff. We have a really strong CSR committee at management level, but the buy-in throughout the organisation has been a credit to every member of the team. 2025 is fast approaching, and we will continue to keep a close eye on our targets to ensure that we meet and exceed them where possible.”

Group Head of CSR David O’Flynn commented, “At Dawn Meats we recognise that doing the right thing will build a more robust business for the future which will benefit employees, customers and farmers. Our CSR strategy is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and I am very excited about what we have committed to achieve and we will engage widely to deliver on these objectives.”  

Dawn Meats works with 15,000 Irish farmers and 5,000 British farmers, contributing over €550m to local rural economies across Ireland, and €450m across the UK. The CSR report details many of our 2016 achievements.

An example of how Dawn Meats is approaching the sustainability challenge can be found in the progress achieved with our Eco Drive initiative in 2016, which has seen hauliers achieve a reduction of 1m litres of fuel and saving 2,500 tons of CO2. These savings have been achieved collaboratively through an investment by hauliers in training and more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Dawn Meats reputation of innovation in premium meat products continued in 2016 and in this year we launched more than 100 new and innovative value added meat products with major European supermarket chains.

We also focused in 2016 on expanding internal communication - leveraging social media, intranet and bulletin boards, around themes such as the environment, health and well-being and food safety. Employees came together to participate in events such as our dedicated Health Week 2016, with over 900 staff attending health clinics for check-ups. 2016 also saw Dawn Meats donate almost €200,000 to local charities, and its staff volunteered over 2,000 hours to causes which are valued by employees and the communities where they operate.

In keeping with our mission to provide consistent, quality meat products from sustainable sources, we continued to work in 2016 with our partners Teagasc, the Irish Farmers Journal and McDonald’s to progress research into sustainable beef production at the Newford Demonstration Farm in Athenry. The farm showcases beef production utilising natural grass advantage and alternative breeds to deliver appropriate muscle size and shape for modern European consumers.

Dawn Meats was delighted to support the NFU Scotland’s Annual Dinner, which took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow as part of the Union’s Conference and AGM on Monday 6th February 2017.

Over 500 diners were served up a showcase menu of some of the very best food and drink that Scotland has to offer including our very own Caledonia Crown PGI Scotch Beef which featured as the main course on the menu.

Isla Roebuck, Operations Director of Dawn Meats commented: “It was a privilege to supply this year’s NFU annual dinner with our Caledonia Crown PGI Scotch Beef and a fantastic opportunity to showcase to guests the exceptional quality and reputation that our Caledonia Crown PGI Scotch Beef delivers time after time.”   

NFU Scotland, Chief Executive, Scott Walker commented: “Every day of the year our farmers are working hard to produce the high-quality food and drink that is available right on our doorsteps. This year’s annual dinner is once again a celebration of that passion and enthusiasm. I am particularly grateful to the companies throughout Scotland who have sponsored or supplied the produce for this year’s dinner. I know that our Scottish farmers take immense pride in what they grow and produce, testament to the thriving food and drink industry we have in this country. I am very much aware that consumers, here and abroad, recognise and value the provenance and quality of the food we produce here in Scotland, something that the Union will continue to champion.”

NFU Scotland, President, Andrew McCornick commented: “We wanted to use this opportunity to showcase the highest quality produce from Scottish farms and this was achieved thanks to Dawn Meats generous contribution of top quality Caledonia Crown beef for our dinner which drew the highest level of compliments from all who attended”.

Pictured (l-r): Gary Mitchell, Vice President NFU Scotland, Isla Roebuck, Dawn Meats, Andrew McCornick, President NFU Scotland and Martin Kennedy, Vice President NFU Scotland

The 2nd annual Great Agri-Food Debate will take place at 2.30pm on Wednesday 22nd of February in the Garret Fitzgerald Debating Chamber in University College Dublin (UCD).  Food and agriculture students from Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) will join students from UCD to debate the motion: “Brexit will be good for the Irish Agri-Food Industry”.  

This is the second year that UCD will play host to the Great Agri-Food Debate, a joint initiative of Dawn Meats & McDonald’s Ireland and it follows a successful inaugural event last year. 

While the Irish food and drinks industry waits to see what will unfold as Britain exits the European Union, companies are developing plans to reconfigure their businesses and minimize the downside risks.  The ideas shared by the students will add new perspectives to an already dynamic discussion.   

Justin McCarthy, Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal, will Chair the debate and the judging panel will comprise Niall Browne, CEO, Dawn Meats; Adrian Crean, Managing Director, McDonald’s Ireland and Tara McCarthy, CEO Bord Bia.  Dawn Meats and McDonald’s Ireland are co-sponsoring the event.

Commenting Niall Browne, CEO said; “We held this debate for the first time last year, and I think we were all struck by the vigour of the debate and the knowledge of the participants. We have long known that our 3rd level institutions are a rich source of talent and innovative thinking and with Britain’s exit from the EU on the horizon, it’s a key issue on which students should have an informed opinion.”

Commenting Adrian Crean, MD McDonald’s Ireland said; “It’s great to be heading back to UCD again this year to encourage debate of one of the really key issues of the day. McDonald’s in Ireland is going from strength to strength as a business and like many other companies Brexit is a challenge on the horizon. It’s important that we listen to the views of the next generation of business leaders and all stakeholders as we consider the possible impact on the business environment.”  

Following on from the success of last year’s debate, there is expected to be great interest.  All are welcome to attend.

Dawn Meats are delighted to have once again been selected as “National Public Champion” and will represent Ireland in the 2016/2017 European Business Awards sponsored by RSM.

The European Business Awards are widely recognised as the showcase for Europe’s most dynamic companies and as part of the adjudication process we now look forward to sharing our experience and business success in greater detail with the judging panel.

To be successful for this coveted award, public votes are critical.  Voting is now open but will close on the 1st of March.

Vote to support Dawn Meats by clicking here: http://www.businessawardseurope.com/vote/detail-new/the-award-for-environmental-corporate-sustainability-1/20776

Thank you in advance for your support.

 

Media

Centre Stage at the Breeders' Cup 2016

Thursday, 03 November 2016 18:07

The 2016 Breeders' Cup World Championships was held for a record ninth time at Santa Anita Park, LA from the 4th to the 6th of November. On the eve of the first day's racing, a sixth annual international culinary event, A Taste of the World, was held at the historic film studios of Warner Brothers.

Ireland's involvement in the Taste of the World at the Breeders' Cup is co-ordinated by Good Food Ireland and was supported by Bord Bia and Dawn Meats. 

Award winning Irish chefs’ Ed Cooney, The Merrion Hotel, Dublin and Martin Shanahan, Fishy Fishy, Kinsale prepared 1,500 individual servings of grass-fed, quality assured fillet of Irish beef. Ireland’s involvement in the event has been coordinated by Good Food Ireland and supported by Bord Bia and Dawn Meats

This is the 6th year that Good Food Ireland has been invited to represent Ireland at the much celebrated culinary event which takes place during the Breeders’ Cup World Championships — the richest two days in sports. This is the first time that Irish beef will be served, following the opening of the US market access in January 2015.

Speaking at the launch today, Margaret Jeffares, Founder, Good Food Ireland said “I am delighted that Bord Bia and Dawn Meats have partnered with Good Food Ireland and facilitated this high profile showcase for Irish beef. Many film and TV celebrities, horse breeders, owners and other VIPs from around the world will attend this exceptional tasting event featuring cuisine from 15 participating countries.”

Meanwhile Paul Nolan, Dawn Meats added “this event provides terrific opportunity to introduce our premium grass fed Irish beef to such a discerning US and international audience. The “Taste of the World” attracts global media coverage and we are hopeful that this exposure will help us build brand awareness and recognition in this new export market.”

Dawn Meats has become the latest organisation to pledge its support to Courtauld 2025. Dawn Meats will work in partnership with a range of retailers, food service, trade and local authority signatories under the newly formed Meat Working Group to reach the 2025 targets, pooling expertise and innovation.

Courtauld 2025 is an initiative led by the waste prevention body, WRAP that seeks to address sustainability challenges facing the food and drink sector. It has the potential to generate savings of £20bn for the UK food supply chain.

The food and drink industry faces a range of challenges such as access to water; losses in the supply chain; and waste - as evidenced by the 10% of meat purchases (240,000 tonnes) that are thrown away annually in UK homes. These challenges provide a real opportunity for businesses and other stakeholders to take leadership that will benefit all.

Courtauld 2025's UK ambition is threefold:

Achieve a 20% reduction in food and drink waste

Achieve a 20% reduction in GHG emissions

A reduction in impact association with water use in the supply chain

Commenting Marcus Sherreard, UK Commercial Director, Dawn Meats said, "Today is an important milestone in our sustainability plan, which again sees Dawn Meats collaborating with other stakeholders who share similar aspirations and objectives on continuous improvement across the entire supply chain. At Dawn Meats we truly believe that issues around supply chain sustainability can only be addressed collaboratively, and we are delighted that WRAP has provided the food and drinks industry with this opportunity to tackle issues related to resource efficiency. We are committed to working together with our partners on the Meat Working Group to identify and develop best practice in our industry in the coming years."

Commenting, Peter Maddox, Director at WRAP said, "It is great to see support for Courtauld 2025 growing at such a pace, and it is imperative that it does so, given the significant economic contribution of the food and drink industry. We are delighted to welcome Dawn Meats on board. Dawn has demonstrated a keen understanding of the importance of sustainability to the bottom line, as well as an impressive capacity for innovation in this area. They will be important partners as we work towards a more sustainable resource efficient economy."

Health Week 2016

Monday, 10 October 2016 18:23

Dawn Meats were delighted to host its second Health and Wellbeing Week in October. 

The emphasis for this year was placed on increasing awareness for the ‘Common Cancers’ including: Bowel, Breast, Prostate & Testicular and Skin.

Each day covered a different topic and was designed to be informative, educating employees about the causes, symptoms, testing and treatments available. The importance of hydration and exercise were also highlighted.

Throughout the week a variety of engaging activities and competitions were held including: Wear Pink/Blue to Work, lunchtime walks, park runs, smoothie bike challenge, pedometer challenge, penalty shootout challenge, coffee morning, health clinics, cookery demonstrations and free fruit and water.

Across the week Dawn Meats also acknowledged the support of a wide range of external companies who shared their knowledge and encouraged employees to participate with engaging presentations and competitions. These included, Marie Keating Foundation, Irish Cancer Society, Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, St John’s Ambulance, Smoothie Bike Hire and Fitbit.

 

Dawn Meats was awarded the Excellence in Environment award at the 13th Annual Corporate Social Responsibility Awards which took place on Thursday September 1st 2016 in the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin. The annual CSR Awards celebrate the important contribution that CSR practices make to our society and Dawn Meats was pleased to be nominated in the large indigenous company category for Excellence in Environment along with DAA, ESB and Roadbridge.

The CSR Awards applications were reviewed by two separate and independent judging panels, made up of experts in the field of CSR. These 2 panels separately selected the shortlisted projects and companies and from this list a second panel ultimately decided on category winners.
 
The adjudication panel was looking for projects which were innovative, were well thought out, engaged staff at all levels and utilised a variety of resources in delivering a positive impact on the business and the wider community.

Commenting on the awards Group Commercial Director Richard Clinton said: ”At Dawn Meats we expect all colleagues to engage with the CSR agenda and actively contribute with community projects which have a positive impact both on the business itself and the community in which we operate. The fossil fuel free and zero waste to landfill ambitions which have been achieved in 2016 are a tangible result of our commitment in this area and we look forward to further progress in the coming years. All colleagues can be extremely proud of this award which is just recognition of their efforts in recent years.”

Messrs Parkinson have been awarded the inaugural Marks & Spencer / Dawn Meats Swaledale Producer of the Year award 2016 at the Swaledale Lamb producer meeting in Malham in the Yorkshire Dales.

The Parkinson family farm at Hareden, is in the heart of the Trough of Bowland, in Lancashire. Most of the farm land is moorland, rising to 1800 feet above sea level.  There is only a small percentage of meadowland, the remainder is hill pasture. The 1,030 hectare farm, is tenanted from United Utilities, and has approximately 1,000 Swaledale breeding ewes and a beef suckler herd.

Dawn Meats has worked with the Swaledale Lamb Society for a number of years developing and supplying bespoke Marks & Spencer Swaledale Lamb for their Speciality Lamb range. The period of supply is between January and early May each season and the sixth season has just finished.

Anna Playfair- Hannay, M&S Agricultural Manager commented: “I’m delighted to be able to present this award to Messrs Parkinson. The continued support and collaboration we have with the Swaledale Lamb group means we can continue to offer our customers something very special and unique to Marks & Spencer.”

Mr. Isla Roebuck, Operations Director Dawn Meats (UK) commented: “We have now had six seasons of Swaledale Lamb in the Marks & Spencer Speciality lamb range which has been very successful with our customers. In order to recognise the efforts of the Swaledale Lamb producers involved in this supply chain we have presented a cup to the producer that has had the best hit rate for weight and grade over the period of supply from January to early May this year. Congratulations to Messrs Parkinson on winning the cup this year and we look forward to next season which will be our seventh.”

David Ward of Bridgetown Farm in Iddesleigh, Devon, was awarded The Prince’s Countryside Fund Award in England and Wales at the M&S Farming for the Future Awards, at the Royal Welsh Show, in Builth Wells, Wales.

Bridgetown Farm is a supplier to Dawn Meats’ West Devon facility. David runs a family farm in Devon, farming both beef and lamb, where he manages a herd of 140 suckler cattle and 140 breeding ewes. David has dedicated 40 years of his life to working with the ‘Farms for City Children’ charity, which offers urban children from the age 9 – 11, the unique opportunity to spend a week living and working on a farm in the heart of the countryside, to gain an understanding of rural life, food production and animal welfare. The children come to David’s farm from 31 schools across London, Portsmouth, Barnstaple and Plymouth.
Every morning David picks up the school children and their teachers, from Nethercott House, the Farms for City Children residence, in a specially converted tractor and trailer and they spend the day working on the farm interacting with the farm animals, working in the outdoors and enjoying the fresh air. At any time there are between 36-40 children and teachers working on the farm under David’s guidance.

M&S Farming for the Future is a programme of initiatives which champions sustainability and innovation. The programme is designed to help farmers identify opportunities for improvement, increase their profitability and provide a sustainable supply chain that can continue to deliver quality and innovation for the long term. 

David Ward, Owner of Bridgetown Farm said: “I am absolutely delighted to be awarded The Prince’s Countryside Fund Award at the M&S Farming for the Future Awards. The charity is very close to my heart, and over the past 40 years it has been extremely rewarding to see children spending a week on our farm getting a real understanding of where their food comes from, sustainable farming and rural life.  These children leave our farm with important information that they can pass on to future generations.”

Isla Roebuck, Operations Director, Dawn Meats (UK), said: “We are very proud of Bridgetown Farm’s win at today’s M&S Farming for the Future Awards and of David’s commitment to educating children about farming, the countryside and food production. At Dawn, we are fully committed to ensuring all of our products have traceability from farm gate to plate, and believe that knowing where your food comes from is of the highest importance. We congratulate David for equipping the hundreds of children who come through his farm every year with this knowledge, teaching them the importance of food production and broadening their horizons by becoming familiar with rural life.”